Lamb tagine with couscous - in the slow cooker

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Nov 5, 02:20 PM in . No comments.

This morning, there was frost on the grass and ice on the car windshield. Yes, its slow cooker and stews and casserole weather again. The winter weather doesn’t mean you have to go for winter stodge though. This lamb tagine with couscous will warm you up for sure. I like this one as the couscous is added to the tagine at the end, rather than being made separately. Couscous has slightly fewer calories than rice but you still need to watch your portion sizes if trying to watch your weight. It’s mostly carbohydrate but has about 6g protein per cup and is also quite a good source of selenium (great for antioxidant production, thyroid function and protection).

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 800g lean lamb shoulder, diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 4 garlic cloves, left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 150g dried prunes (seeded/pitted)
  • 2 × 400g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 600g couscous
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Harissa paste to serve (to taste)
  • Natural yoghurt to serve


Season the lamb. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil over a high heat in a large frying pan and cook the lamb, in batches, for about 10 minutes, until browned all over. Spoon into the slow cooker. (I must admit, I’m guilty of not always browning my meats before adding to the slow cooker.)

Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat in the pan and cook the onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add to the slow cooker.

In the same hot pan, heat the paprika, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cinnamon for about 1 minute, until they start to smell aromatic. Also add to the slow cooker.
Stir in the garlic. Bay leaves, lime juice, stock, prunes and chopped tomatoes, and season well.

Cook for 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low.

About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, spoon the couscous over the surface of the stew and cover and leave to steam until tender.
Serve the tagine and couscous, garnished with coriander, yoghurt and harissa.

Tags: Couscous, Lamb, Main Meals, Slow Cooker, Tagine, Winter Warmers

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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